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Racial Equity

Wednesday’s Headlines: A Truth-Telling Commission Edition

1:20 AM EDT on March 24, 2021

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

We were pleased to be on the call yesterday when Mayor de Blasio announced his new "Racial Justice Commission," which is charged with exploring the city's White supremacist past and figuring out how to fix its lingering legacy. (NY Post, NY Times, WSJ).

Obviously, blue ribbon panels deserve an eye-roll, seeing as they're almost always empaneled by politicians seeking to show that they're actually doing something when, in fact, all they're doing is hiring someone else to think about what to do, but in the case of exploring the city's racist past, we're all for it.

The official announcement was short on the panel's specific mission, which is why we were hoping to get picked at yesterday's press conference. Here's what we would have asked: "This announcement about the racial justice commission is potentially a huge deal, but we're wondering, Mr. Mayor: You said the panel will be looking at everything in our city’s long history of racism and White supremacy — but will the panel examine the current injustice of why, despite seven years of Vision Zero, the victims of car crashes are disproportionately residents of long-suffering communities of color?"

Well, maybe next time. The 11-person panel is set to deliver its first recommendations by December. Let's hope its members prioritize saving lives.

Until then, here's the news from an otherwise slow day:

    • You're getting a busway, and you're getting a busway, and you're getting a busway ... plus an office of Public Space Management — if Maya Wiley is elected, the candidate said yesterday, blasting her former boss as too slow on improving our too-slow buses. (NYDN)
    • Rich people to Albany: Don't raise our taxes. (WSJ)
    • Here's a speed limit increase we can support! (NYDN)
    • We were kinda hoping everything would just get back to normal when the pandemic is over — but, no, the MTA is going to insist on spending $300 million a year to keep the subway clean. (NY Post)

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